Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What’s the difference?

Frank Gadbois, if possible, in twenty five words or less, please explain the difference between a professional librarian and a non-professional one.

Tom McGuire,

Warner Robins

Red state, blue state

As a New York resident whose father was born and raised in Alabama, I am sick and tired of hearing how low tax red states have been “subsidizing” high tax blue states like New York and California, whose residents have been able to deduct state and local taxes from their federal income taxes. Even with these deductions, these “blue states” have always paid more in federal income taxes than they ever got back in return, in stark contrast to many low tax, low income red states, which have long been net recipients of federal largess, thanks in large part to their historic control of key congressional committees.

I guess the Republicans feel that blue state taxpayers like me should pay even more for schools, roads, etc., in their low wage, low tax states. And why should progressive states like New York be penalized for providing social services that the federal government refuses to fund, especially when a huge percentage of the beneficiaries of these programs are indigent residents of these same red states with woefully inadequate social programs who have migrated to the blue states?

And let’s not forget about the millions of blue state retirees who have moved to low tax “Sun Belt’’ red states and inject their pension money, paid for by blue state companies or, in the case of state and local civil servants, by blue state taxpayers like me, into their communities. And you folks have the audacity to claim you are subsidizing us?

Dennis Middlebrooks,

Brooklyn, New York

New theology

There is something missing in John Shelby Spong’s “new” theology of Heaven, applauded by Dr. Bill Cummings (in his Jan. 7 column, “The big question: Eternal life”). It is a sad fact of our existence that this world is characterized by death, disease, suffering, poverty, misery, crime, murder, war, violence, loneliness, and all the other manifestations of man’s inhumanity to man that fill this newspaper on a daily basis.

The Biblical account states that deplorable condition is a product of sin; the misuse of our free will, which is the requisite for our ability to love God and one another. And the theme of the entire book, from Genesis chapter three forward, is redemption. It it centered on a Nazarene who was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, 2,000 years ago. Born of a virgin, because his genealogy, expressed in John’s gospel, is of the only begotten (not created) Son of God. He is therefore fully divine, and fully man (“the seed of the woman” — Gen. 3:15). Eternally co-existent with his Father, as part of a triune Godhead. And fully blameless and sinless. The only one who could pay the penalty for our sin, the reparation of our debt. And validated that payment, as well as his identity, by rising from the dead after three days, to be seen and touched by, and break bread with, his followers for 40 days, before “ascending” into the hyperdimensionality of Heaven.

And the perfection of God’s perfect plan is that we can do nothing. If anything was dependent on our efforts, than that would eliminate many (actually, all). Anyone can receive a gift, however. Anyone can accept grace, blessing, faith and belief. Simply by exercising their free will.

In Spong’s “new vision,” free will is not a feature. We are presented with a “God” who created a world with all the attributes in the dreary litany previously mentioned: but without the element of redemption, as his vision denies the incarnation, the atonement, and the resurrection. We are told that upon death, we “walk into eternity” with this god, because we are “part of” it. Whether we want to be or not, apparently.

With all due respect — I’ll pass. Cummings is welcome to a double portion of eternity with this cosmic monster — mine and his. I’ll stick with the reality of Biblical, doctrinal Christianity. And be grateful that Spong’s new vision is a feverish hallucination. Because, as the adage states: “if it’s true, it’s not new. And if it’s new, it’s not true.”

W. Wade Stooksberry II,

Macon

Talking to you?

The level of young African-American males in the juvenile justice system due to acts of violence, disrespectful dealings with police officers, bullying, fighting and lack of desire to follow rules is amazing. I know why they are there, just visit the YDCs. My point is, organizations sponsor forums, community awareness events about how to deal with police officers, respect, academics and many other programs. I have attended these types of programs in Macon, Warner Robins, Fort Valley, Forsyth, Perry, Montezuma and other cities. One constant: very few youth attend, especially males.

Those teenagers murdered in Middle Georgia this year could have been the next black senator, doctoror lawyer. Now on the other hand there are football and basketball camps all over Middle Georgia, which I have nothing against. Those camps will be overflowing with young black males this summer. We glorify sports and seldom mention the non-athletic who are academically superior. Chances of becoming a professional athlete is less than 5 percent. The chances of a young black male going to jail for a first time offense is 48 percent, higher than any other group. And we can’t figure out why the prisons, like the one I volunteer at are full of young black males. It’s called misplaced priorities.

African-Americans blame everyone and everything for the downfall of so many of our young brothers. If you’re working in your community to reduce this problem I’m not talking to you. But if you’re not part of the solution, guess what?

Charles E. McGhee,

Warner Robins

Old school style

I know some will look on this idea as nutty, but that’s OK. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t read in The Telegraph that another Dollar General, Family Dollar, Circle K or other convenience store gets robbed by some thugs dressed in black with hoodies.

I wonder what would happen if our law enforcement were to use some of the technology we have today and combine it with old school tactics and put a couple of heavily armed men on top of the stores with video cameras and when these thugs rob these stores just leave them laying on the sidewalk.

I have a gut feeling this would probably help eliminate this daily occurrence. I keep asking myself what would Machine Gun Ronnie do in this situation. I kind of believe he would like my idea.

George Scoville,

Macon

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